Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Lessons learned from water

From water we can learn that:

One can never step in the same river twice. (Attributed to Heraclitus.)

Ripple in still water…when there is no pebble tossed nor wind to blow. (Grateful Dead)

What goes up must come down. (Everyone.)

As the year’s closing, I’ve been thinking about the lessons taught by the concept of retention time. That’s the average time water stays in a lake or pond. Think of it as the effect before has on after.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, January 4, 2021

Thoughts on snow

So far, the best I can say for this winter in the Adirondacks is that I haven’t had to shovel much.

Actually, that’s not all. I took my son downhill skiing this week, and we had a blast for several hours … until the rain soaked through our coats.

Here’s hoping for (and expecting) a 2021 that delivers the snow for all your outdoor adventures, and for our magazine’s suggested ski outings. Regardless of how much snow we get or when we get it, here are some seasonal safety tips we published last winter.

In the meantime, let us know if you have any insights on Adirondack snow to share with us. We’re working on a story about the history and future of snow in these mountains, and what it means to our economy and ecology. Besides what climate scientists and other experts have to say about changes in our winters, we’re interested in hearing personal stories about your experiences and observations through the years.


Monday, January 4, 2021

Adirondack Land Trust Buys Last Unprotected Shoreline on Thirteenth Lake

The Adirondack Land Trust has purchased 17 acres of land on the Thirteenth Lake’s 4.5-mile shoreline, marking the conservation of the last unprotected shoreline on Thirteenth Lake. The Lake is a headwater of Upper Hudson River and the largest body of water within the Siamese Ponds Wilderness.

New York State Forest Preserve borders the land on one side, while the Garnet Hill Property Owners Association borders the other. The latter is taking advantage of restrictive use covenants to ensure its lake shore property is protected.

The Adirondack Land Trust will be working along side the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to integrate the Thirteenth Lake land into the 114,010-acre Siamese Ponds Wilderness, allowing for it to become public, and thereby protected under the Forever Wild clause of the NYS constitution.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Adirondack Council’s Top 10 list of 2020 progress

Progress on reducing road salt, managing visitors to the overused High Peaks Wilderness Area and making the Adirondacks more welcoming to all New York residents led the Adirondack Council’s list of 10 reasons to be thankful as 2020 draws to a close.

 The Council’s 2020 highlights included:

State Budget is Good for the Adirondack Park – April 1, 2020 

The Adirondack Council and partners secured crucial funding for pristine Adirondack waters and wildlands in the state budget. New York State approved a $300 million Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). There was a total of $1 billion for new clean water infrastructure. Both are cornerstone sources of funding that go to keep Adirondack waters free of invasive species, sewage and pollution. Additionally, the budget included dedicated funding to combat overuse in the Adirondacks.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Activism, science and harmful algal blooms

The algal bloom last month in Lake George, the first of its kind, is one of two things: A sign of things to come. Or not.

While Lake George remains a relatively pristine lake, especially for its size, it has slowly deteriorated over time thanks to shoreline development and runoff from nearby roads. It’s still got a hot home market around it and is a draw for bustling tourists from downstate and out of state.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, December 28, 2020

175 Organizations Launch Coalition for Environmental Funding, Jobs and Clean Water

The New Yorkers for Clean Water & Jobs coalition is made up of over 175 organizations have joined together to advocate for important environmental programs, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs, fortifying local economies, protecting clean drinking water, creating new parks, advancing environmental justice, and mitigating an intensifying climate crises. State programs included In the funding are:

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 19, 2020

Holiday recycling tips

Recycling Bin “Do’s” and “Don’ts” – Holiday Edition

NYS DEC provides some important recycling tips so you can have a waste-free seasonal celebration! Check out all the following tips and information, as well as events offered this season in order to help spread information and reduce waste this season.

Holiday Recycling Tips
  • Cardboard Boxes: Do recycle! Flatten boxes to save space and remove loose tape.
  • Holiday Cards: Do not include cards with glittery, metallic, or foil elements. Do include all others.
  • Wrapping Paper: Do not include metallic, glittery, or foil-lined papers. Do include other wrapping papers by folding into flat sheets before recycling.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Groups work to strengthen wildlife pathway between Catskills, Adirondacks

This month, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC), in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), was awarded a Mohawk Watershed grant for $88,744 through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Mohawk Watershed Program. The grant stream is intended to protect the Mohawk Basin and help mitigate the impacts of climate change.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, December 7, 2020

On late-season toxic algal blooms

Recently, I wrote a follow-up to my colleague Ry Rivard’s coverage of harmful algal blooms. Lake George has had a few late blooms this fall.

This topic holds a special place in my journalist heart. When I worked in Auburn, Owasco Lake, which is the drinking water source for a large part of Cayuga County, had harmful algal blooms (more accurately called cyanobacteria) near the City of Auburn’s drinking water intake pipe. Nearly every day in the summer and fall I was writing a story about whether the water was safe to drink and safe to swim in, not just for people, but for pets, too. I wrote about dogs that had died from ingesting the scum. Some cyanobacteria blooms have liver and neurotoxins that are fast-acting and kill pets, waterfowl and other animals.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 5, 2020

CCE Essex receives grant for logging training courses

Cornell Cooperative Extension Essex County (CCE Essex) received a $2500 grant from the International Paper’s Ticonderoga Branch, and the International Paper Foundation. The money will be used to host two “Game of Logging” courses through the Northeast Woodland Training with instructor David Birdsall, taking place at North Country Creamery in Keeseville.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t

Let me wrap up something I’m really happy to be a part of: a series of stories looking at the Adirondacks’ rivers, its dams and efforts to return salmon to the rivers despite the dams.

Over the last month, we published a story from the series every week or so, but I want to make sure you’ve had a chance to see them all in one place:

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

DEC Announces Annual Arbor Day Poster Contest

2019 arbor day poster by Paul BergwallThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced the start of the DEC’s Annual Arbor Day Original Artwork Poster contest. This contest is held by the DEC’s Urban and Community Forestry Program yearly in order to commemorate Arbor Day. The public is invited to submit original photos and artwork celebrating the immeasurable value of trees.

The contest is sponsored by the New York State Arbor Day Committee, and the DEC will be accepting photographs and artwork submissions for the committee through December 31, 2020. The photos and artwork submitted must include trees within New York State, and can be sent to [email protected]. Participants will be limited to five submissions and each submission should include a completed artist information form available on DEC’s website.

To obtain past New York State Arbor Day posters, contact any local DEC forestry office or call 518-402-9428.


Sunday, November 29, 2020

VW Settlement funds advance clean transportation in NYS and Akwesasne

electric vehicle courtesy decA report from Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA):

Earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that $11M in funds from the State’s allocation of the federal Volkswagen Settlement will be used to expand electric transportation infrastructure across New York.

The program addresses goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) to increase access to clean energy and the benefits of sustainable infrastructure. This latest announcement will advance EV adoption and improve access to charging stations in disadvantaged communities in upstate and northern New York.

Charging station developers for the North Country region are invited to apply by February 18, 2021.

This is great news, coming on the heels of ON-RAMP, ANCA’s clean transportation summit, where we convened stakeholders and partners who are committed to advancing clean transportation efforts in the region.

In the far north of the state, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Environmental Division announced it will use Volkswagen Settlement funds to invest in electric vehicles and charging stations in the Akwesasne community. Kudos to the National Tribal Air Association for advocating for Indigenous communities to be included in the federal settlement, and to St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Air Quality Program Manager Angela Benedict, whose hard work resulted in $249K for the purchase of two new trucks and installation of four charging stations in 2019. The second settlement payment will go toward the purchase of low-emission vehicles for the community’s casino and transfer station.


Saturday, November 28, 2020

OSI Protects Warren County Property in Southern Adirondack Foothills

Newly protected property, located west of the West Mountain Ski Area, aids in clean water protection and efforts to fight climate change

The Open Space Institute (OSI) has announced the permanent protection of land in the Town of Lake Luzerne- building on over thirty years of land protection in and around the Adirondack Park Preserve. The town is composed of hard and softwood forests and wetlands, within the Hudson River watershed. This acquisition will be providing protections for clean water, as well as contributing to the fight against climate change via the capture of carbon.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Reminder: Cutoff Date for Fertilizing Lawns is December 1

If you plan to fertilize your lawn this fall, remember that it is against New York State law to fertilize lawns between December 1 and April 1. Some areas also have local laws about selling and using lawn fertilizers.

Visit DEC’s Lawn Fertilizer webpage for more information. The law does not apply to agricultural fertilizer or fertilizer for gardens.

Choose a lawn fertilizer with no phosphorus.

Lawn fertilizer can have unnecessary phosphorus that runs into waterbodies. Excess phosphorus in freshwater lakes and ponds can cause algae overgrowth, with serious impacts to the environment and public health.



Wait, before you go,

sign up for news updates from the Adirondack Almanack!